Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus


David Clarke

The charismatic Peregrine falcon is the fastest moving animal anywhere in the world. This speed is well used to catch their prey of other birds while in the air. Classified as Least Concern the species is doing well, but is facing pressure across much of its range from hunting, pollution and also being captured and sold for pets.



The species can be found across almost all continents, throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. However, its breeding range is far more restricted, typically nesting near the coastline and in sheltered areas.



The Peregrine falcon lives in a variety of habitats across the world including Forest, Savanna grasslands desert areas and also cliff and mountainous areas.  The species seems well adapted to living anywhere suitable prey species exist. In the UK it has also been found to nest in urban centers.



The diet of the Peregrine falcon varies greatly across its large range, but is typically made up of medium sized birds. In Europe this consists of birds up to the size of pigeons.



Due to its wide range the species faces a number of threats, principly hunting, pollution and sale for the captive animals trade. Persecution in the UK and Europe is a contributing factor of the slight population decline seen in reccent years, however it is still much higher than in the 1960's when pesticides like DDT caused a population collapse. Like capture of egg poaching occur across its range, being sold for large amounts to collectors and falconers.


Conservation status:

Classified as Least Concern the species is largely doing well, recovering significantly in much of its range. Current estimates indicate up to 500,000 Peregrine falcons may exist today.